First privately funded bus P&R

Stagecoach has opened Britain’s first privately funded bus park and ride in Greater Manchester. The £3m investment in Stockport sees the introduction of a new 400 space park and ride facility, which has a cycle hub part-funded through Transport for Greater Manchester. It will be served by a £12m fleet of 40 hybrid electric buses equipped with free Wi-Fi. Located on a stretch of the heavily congested A6 at Hazel Grove, it is also Greater Manchester’s first bus park and ride facility. It links Stockport and central Manchester and is expected to help remove 6,000 car journeys per month from the region’s roads.

Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, Martin Griffiths, said, ‘We are fully behind plans to make Greater Manchester a real economic powerhouse of the north. Transport is central to making that happen and the bus is the most important and accessible form of public transport. This ground breaking investment in the country’s first privately-funded bus park and ride initiative demonstrates the importance of the private sector in making the government’s devolution plans and Greater Manchester’s aspirations a reality. We have a shared responsibility to get the most from the nation’s bus network. It connects people with work, health and education, and is crucial to the economic health of the high street. With continued austerity and stretched public funding, the private sector more than ever has to be part of the solution.’

Buses minister, Andrew Jones, said, ‘I applaud Stagecoach for investing in this bus park and ride scheme, which will make it easier for people travelling to Manchester to get to work, do their shopping and visit friends and family. This facility will link communities and the cleaner, greener buses will also help improve air quality by reducing traffic congestion in surrounding areas, encouraging people to take public transport rather than driving their cars into town centres.’

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